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The Barcelona tram has become the first public transport system in the world to install radio frequency sensors as a people counting system, as part of a pilot project launched by TRAM to determine platform occupancy in real time.

The sensors, which have been installed at various points on two TRAM stops, communicate with each other via radio signals. An algorithm then determines the number of people on the platform at any given moment based on the attenuation of the signal received by each sensor. This technology does not capture the identity of users, unlike other people-counting technologies such as wifi sensors or cameras.

The aim of this pilot project is to validate a system that will make it possible to take rapid action in the event of overcrowding, sending staff to stops or activating alerts over the platform’s loudspeaker. In addition, all the information gathered will allow a more efficient analysis of platform occupancy data, which will be used to create a database to forecast likely platform overcrowding times and generate statistics based on real situations.

TRAM innovates

The Barcelona tram continues to enhance the safety and reliability of its service through technological innovation. This is the third innovation project launched by TRAM this year, after the system to monitor the condition of drivers and the on-board air ionisation system.